Critic’s picks: Theater


BETRAYAL Unfolding in reverse chronology, Harold Pinter’s drama traces a lengthy love affair between a woman and her husband’s best friend. Directed by Maria Aitken, recently at the helm of a sparkling “Private Lives.’’ Through Dec. 9. Huntington Theatre Company. At Boston University Theatre. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre

Now playing

THE SUSSMAN VARIATIONS A Broadway composer is about to turn 75, and his two adult children have brought plenty of emotional baggage to the party. Playwright Richard Schotter doesn’t break much new ground, but he’s perceptive about the push and pull of family relationships. Directed by Jeff Zinn. Through Nov. 18. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. 866-811-4111,


BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON Rough, rude, fast, loud, and irreverent, this musical satire by Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman is to standard presidential biography as a punch in the nose is to afternoon tea. As portrayed with all-out gusto by Gus Curry, Old Hickory is driven by testosterone and an adolescent I’ll-show-’em ambition, not by any grand vision or abundance of smarts. Through Nov. 17. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO A tiger is pursued by existential questions through a restless afterlife, even as he haunts the US Marine who killed him. Meanwhile, an Iraqi translator must cope with the invading Americans’ arrogant treatment, the ghost of Uday Hussein, and his own wrenching guilt about a horrific prewar episode. Director Shawn LaCount and his fine cast illuminate playwright Rajiv Joseph’s bleak and unsettling vision, occasionally pierced by mordant humor. Through Nov. 17. Company One. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

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